The Janssens' Story

After Nicole Janssen and her husband built their first home in Edmonton, Alberta, they were convinced they’d be staying there for very long time. But shortly after they finished their home and an amazing piece of land abutting a ravine and bird sanctuary became available, the Janssens found themselves once again immersed in the stress and work of designing and building another home.

“Tanya listened to what I do with my scrapbooks, what tools I use, what I constantly grab for, what I have put away that I wish I had accessible. She just knew to ask me all those questions and we were able to come up with a solution so that everything was much easier to use and enjoy.”

"That’s where California Closets saved me,” Nicole explains. “There were just so many decisions to make. When I met with my California Closets Design Consultant, Tanya, she was so good about just listening to what I had going on in my life, what my needs were and creating something that worked perfectly for us.”

Starting from scratch, the Janssens worked with Tanya to create a master closet, a custom media room, a playroom designed to grow with their two young children and a large home office where Nicole could focus on her home business.

“I have very limited time to put towards my company, and when I do have that time I need to be ready to go,” Nicole explains. With that in mind, her home office includes space for art and play activities so the kids can work on their projects while Nicole finds time to work on hers.

Tanya also designed the home office to include plenty of space for a passion of Nicole’s—scrapbooking.

“Tanya listened to what I do with my scrapbooks, what tools I use, what I constantly grab, what I have put away that I wish I had accessible. She just knew to ask me all those questions and we were able to come up with a solution so that everything was much easier to use and enjoy.”

And that creativity extended beyond the office. “Tanya was thinking about my house as much as I was thinking about my house,”  Nicole recalls.

In the master closet, a handy bench provides seating, and there’s an out-of-the-way spot for luggage.

In the pantry, an integrated laundry hamper saves trips up and down the stairs.

“California Closets thought all those things through for me, and came up with solutions based on how I live my life. Even when I didn’t realize I needed those solutions,” says Nicole.

That forward-thinking approach was key in the spaces designed for the Janssen’s children. California Closets created storage solutions designed to work for the family’s need today and for when those needs change as the children grow. A toy closet features adjustable shelves to accommodate books, games and larger toys.

And California Closets lived up to the Janssen’s most important standard—quality. Building a new home, the Janssens were working with a wide variety of suppliers. California Closets was able to match the other woodwork in the house perfectly, creating a seamless, custom look.

Nicole sums up her California Closets experience by saying “our experience was great. We didn’t really know what to expect. I assumed this was just a company who would put a few little things in my closet. But I had no idea they could create solutions for pantries and craft rooms and all the other rooms in my home. Even though we spent some time planning out every detail, I think it was well worth it. I love every closet we have — from my pantry, to my craft room, to my master closet and even my kid's closets. Everything works just as I hoped it would.”

The Designer’s Eye

Designer Tanya Long partnered with Janssen family to create spaces that would help them get the most out of their new, custom home.

What’s it like to design for a custom home?
When a client is building a house, they’re making thousands and thousands of decisions every day. So it’s important to get to know your customer, what type of things are important to them, what do I need to come to them with, and what other things do they want me to take the lead on.

Any challenges?
With custom homes, there’s a ton of freedom. But things are constantly changing too. We were designing off of blueprints. Sometimes Nicole would call to tell me that something had changed. It’s really about keeping in touch and communicating.

It sounds like a collaboration?
The customer definitely needs to be involved because you can’t just design a space for them that might not necessarily work for the way they live. And so working together throughout the process, making decisions together when the customer needs to be involved, that’s what’s going to make them happy at the end of the day.

What does “home” mean to you?
We believe that people’s homes are their sanctuary. They need to feel comfortable. They need to be able to do what they want to do at home. We want to come in and just make that easier for them. I think a lot of other closet companies just want to build closets. We want to help customers build their lives and build their homes.

Do you have a design philosophy?
When you’re working with customers, whether we’re designing one closet, or many areas in the home, you need to remember that it’s not just a place for them to put away stuff. It’s the place they live their lives. Whether they love to cook or they love to scrapbook or whatever matters to them—those are the things that we like to take into account when we’re designing. It’s not just a place, but someone’s home. I want them to think, “this was so easy and I just got what I wanted at the end of the day.”

Featured solution


Custom closets for your bedroom can be anything from walk-in and reach-in closets to traditional wardrobes. California Closets can help you turn a cluttered bedroom into a restful sanctuary.Your bedroom should be a place of refuge. It’s where you begin each new day and where you find peace at night.

More testimonials